A delicious trifle of high comedy, delicately satirical, with dialogue of rapid-fire and allusive impishness. The action involves a family riven into disputative chaos by the offer of a baronetcy to a man whose determination not to accept it is equaled only by his wife's resolution that he shall. This household, comprising a quizzical husband who plays with his wife "like a mouse plays with a cat," his wily and saccharine spouse who manages her family to please herself by denying that she has any love of her own way, the precociously journalistic daughter and callow, self-confident son, are admirably sketched. They are sufficiently accentuated to be comic, and close enough to reality to avoid seeming farcical. Then there is a facetious editor, Tranto, who likes "sitting on the edge of a volcano" because it is "thrilling, but so warm and cozy."
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